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71 Brewing was founded by Duncan Alexander in 2017 after a trip to the Melbourne based White Rabbit Brewery inspired him to start experimenting with brewing at home.
“Watching the ingredients go in at one end and turn into something quite special at the other was incredibly inspiring”
After returning home from Australia, Duncan quickly managed to get his hands on a small 1BBL homebrew kit. It wasn’t long before he was running a community brewery venture in Edinburgh in his spare time. In 2015 the community brewery fizzled out but Duncan had by then decided he wanted to pursue a career in brewing.
He quit his job as a software engineer and set his sights on opening the first brewery in Dundee for nearly half a century. Why Dundee? Well, first and foremost, Duncan is a proud Dundonian. He could also see that his hometown, Scotland's fourth-largest city, was undergoing a period of significant regeneration. Towering out of the heart of what was known as ‘Hell’s Half Acre’, 71 Brewing’s premises were once a powerhouse of production that churned out thick black smoke and world-class metalwork in equal measure.
“The creative pulse and industrial heritage of this city have always been here, it’s just now coming into its own. We can’t wait to see where it takes us” explains Duncan.
71 Brewing opened its doors in June 2017 after securing more than £650,000 in funding, most of which has been ploughed into some pretty impressive and pioneering brewing equipment. The biological makeup of the water in Dundee is very similar to that in Pilsen in the Czech Republic, and so, much of Duncan’s focus had been on producing the kind of rarer style of lagers he has tried from the continent. More recently, however, as the brewery has begun to expand, Duncan and co have been able to experiment with a wider range of styles. Something that has gone down very well with punters north of the border.
Tonight’s beer makes up part of 71 Brewing’s Blueprint series, a range of beers that champion greater levels experimentation than that of the brewery’s core offering. Rivet Red is an American style Red Ale that beautifully balances malt and hops. A caramel biscuit base lays the groundwork before a ton of hops cut through with a big citrus hit.